Macaron Sunday

Sunday, January 19

Happy New Year people. Have you already broken your new year's resolutions yet? Yes? Ah, see, that is why I do not set new year's resolutions. I never keep them.

What I did decide on though, was to enter the kitchen more. Before getting married to Mr.Dibs, I lived with him for a couple of months, and I was such an exemplary house guest that he decided to put a ring on it. I suspect the marriage proposal was a result of the delicious food I cooked everyday. Unfortunately for Mr.Dibs, my forays into the kitchen was part of my plan to get a marriage proposal from him. I stopped cooking regularly as soon as we came back from the honeymoon. I am not even joking. Mr.Dibs has been trying to get me to turn back into the domestic goddess I was pre wedding ring, but I have been steadfast in refusal to revert. Every so often I would be moved by the need to do some good for the universe, and I would cook him something special.

Which led me to my new toy.

Last year, when my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I was not sure what to ask for. I wanted two things, a Coverstitch machine, and a Kenwood chef. Both of these things are not cheap. So I could only choose one. I weighed the pros and cons. Which of them would get the least resistance from Mr.Dibs? Hmm, Mr.Dibs has never benefited from my sewing. I am that selfish. I'm sure there will come a time when I would make something for him, but that time is not now. Food on the other hand, is something the whole family could enjoy. So I chose the Kenwood. And his exact words were " About time I benefited from one of your hobbies". Now, saying cooking is one of my hobbies is a very long stretch, but what the heck, Mr.Dibs can say anything just as long as I get what I want.

So, last year, This bad boy made its way to my house.

Since having it, I have improved somewhat in the kitchen department. I am not quite up to Nigella Lawson standards yet, but I will get there eventually...I hope.

I have used it mostly for baking. I love baking. I have used it to bake cakes and cupcakes, but what I have loved making the most, are macarons.

I am quite pleased with myself. I first had macarons from Pauls. They are not cheap though, so I reserved consumption for special occasions. Then , when I was pregnant with Noah, Mela came visiting with some chocolate macarons she had made for me. Junior Mr.Dibs still remembers that day fondly. When I think of baking, I thnk of my two gals, Mela and Rachel. Those girls are mean in the kitchen. So when I got the Kenwood, I started looking online for receipes and inspiration. The general consensus was that they were very finicky to make, and you had to be very precise with your measuring. The macarons in this post are my fourth attempt at macarons, and they are my best so far.

Traditional french macarons are made using almond flour, icing sugar, caster sugar, and egg whites. So you make a meringue, and mix with the almond flour and icing sugar, and a colouring of your choice.  You can make macarons using three different meringues. The french, swiss or italian meringue. I used the Italian method. I will go more into the details in another post.

Noah has been very excited about these macarons. He would not even let me do a successful photoshoot.

I had to enlist Mr.Dibs to restrain Noah.

I love making macarons. I find them really easy to make, if you follow the instructions that is, and carefully weigh all your ingredients, and pipe them well, and bla bla bla. What I am trying to say is, they get easy with practice, and once you get the hang of making them, they suddenly seem like the easiest things to do.

So what about you? Have you made macarons before, any interesting flavours you think I should try? I'd like to know. I would also like to make more use of my kenwood chef, so if you have one of these, or a normal food processor or a Kitchen aid, what do you use them for? Care to share any recipes?